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How to Frame a Garage Door Opening

It seems that everyday I get a call from a customer that is making changes to a garage and needs to know the best way to prepare the door opening. Words like, “rough opening” are thrown around, and I’m not sure if we are speaking about the same thing. In our business, we refer to rough openings as the size of the opening before the finished lumber has been added to the jambs. Ordering a garage door based on a rough opening size can leave you with a door that is too big. To make my life more simple, I have created this blog post, so that I could email it to my clients to make things more clear. I’m no wordsmith, and things may get goofed up, so I have provided a diagram as a back up. Good luck on your new framing project.


Let’s get started With Your Framing

1. Frame the rough opening to 3 inches wider than the garage door size you have selected. If you are installing a 9′ wide door, the opening will be 9’3″ wide.

2. Frame the rough opening to a height that is 1.5’’ taller than the door that you have selected. If the door is 7′ tall, frame the opening 7’1.5″.

3. To finish the opening cut the header and jambs from 2’’ lumber. Depending on your opening, the lumber width will be 6’’ to 8’’ wide. Use framing nails to attach the header and jambs.

4. To prepare for the new Installation, you will need to follow these instructions, and pay special attention to the requirements laid out in the sketch below.

5. Pull a measurement from the floor of your space to the ceiling next to the door opening. Cut two 2’’ x 6’’ pieces of lumber, and attach to the face of the wall running from the edge of your garage door jambs to the ceiling of your garage. This lumber will be used to attach your garage door track, and a portion of your assembly. In the industry, this is called the “goal post”.

6. Next, pull a measurement between the 2’’x 6’’ lumber that you just attached to the face of the garage wall. Now, cut a 2’’x 6’’ piece of lumber to that measurement. Attach lumber to the face of the garage wall to the edge of the garage door header

7. Last, pull a measurement from the top of the 2’’ x 6’’ piece of lumber that you just installed to the ceiling of the garage. Cut a 2’’x 6’’ piece of lumber, and nail to the face of wall exactly in the center of the garage header. This piece of lumber will be used to attach the center bracket of your garage door spring assembly.

Click on the image below for clear detail and drawing.

Common IssuesBrick-work-detail-help

One issue that we run in to quite often is when the 2’x6″ lumber that the track mounts to does not go all the way to the floor. In some cases, the block or brick foundation is wider than the wall built above it. See the attached image. In this case, you will have to chip away the brick so that the lumber is 1/4″ from the floor. It is best practice that there is a small space between the floor and lumber to keep the wood from rotting.





Thank you for visiting our website. I would love to know how we may be able to restructure the content on this page to make the instructions more clear. Feel free to leave a comment below. If you are in the Charlotte  or Raleigh area and are in the market for a new door system give us a call.

I wanted to circle back to this post to point out an issues that some of my clients have run in to.

We have had a few jobs lately where clients framed their opening, and bought doors with standard lift track. However, they had beams in their ceiling that lessened their headroom.  When you have a beam in your garage that is lower than the rest of the ceiling, you must use that as your lowest obstruction if it’s behind the door opening. If you door has a motor, you will need roughly 10’6″ of back room on a 7′ tall door, so keep that in mind.  

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